WAAF Association - Recent AGM Minutes and relevant matters

AGM and Reunion  2018

This was held at the Ramada Hotel in Grantham on 6th-9th April. The following extracts appeared in the Summer 2018 Newsletter:

From the Chair - Tracy Watson

Dear Members

Firstly, I want thank you for your vote of confidence and voting me in as your new Chair. I cannot say how much your confidence in me means to me!

Secondly, I would like to place on record the Association’s thanks to both Sandie Faloon and Margery Harley who have both stepped down as Chair and Vice Chair respectively. They have both given many years of their time to the Committee and worked
tirelessly during their tenure. They will be missed on the Committee but are both remaining as members of the Association so we will hopefully see them at various events and reunions.

My time on the Committee thus far, in my role as Publicity Member was largely spent trying to raise the profile of the Association amongst the WRAFs and those ladies still serving in the RAF whilst still maintaining the presence of the WAAF members, ensuring that their Service (and their stories!) is not forgotten and I plan to continue in this same vein. It is because of the ground-breaking work undertaken by those pre-WW2 WRAFs and in particular, the WAAFs, that there were so many opportunities available to the WRAFs of the Cold War (1947 -1991) and, indeed, it is their continued efforts that has ensured that there are even more opportunities available to the ladies that serve in the RAF today. It’s also heartening to find new WAAF members who didn’t know the Association existed, so welcome to all of those new ex-WAAF members too!

It was fantastic to see so many of the new ex-WRAF members at the AGM and Reunion this year in Grantham but saddening to see that so many WAAF stalwarts were missing. Each and every one was missed, and it is my sincere hope that they will be in better health next year and able to attend. Later in the magazine there will be some photos and a little article about this years’ Reunion and AGM.

Don’t forget, your uniform doesn’t have to stay in the wardrobe until Remembrance Day or the next Reunion. Why not, if you are able, dust off your uniform and attend a local event e.g. Armed Forces Day parades and events, the Women’s Services Day at Elvington (see later in the magazine), or even a local Remembrance Day parade if you can’t make the one in London.

Finally, have a fabulous Summer with your family and friends!

From the Secretary: Marion Cope
I had a very enjoyable 2018 Reunion and AGM at Grantham and I was pleased to see a few new faces this year and it was great to meet up with old friends. There were a few changes to the Committee this year, with both Sandy and Margery retiring from the Committee. Tracey was voted in as our new Chairman, may I wish Tracy a long and happy time in post. Su will be taking on the role of Vice Chairman in addition to her Welfare Officer role. We also have a new member on the Committee Jean Parkin, she will be producing the Minutes of all our Committee and AGM Meetings and she will also be dealing with our Publicity.

Our Patron Air Commodore Cynthia Fowler was unable to attend the AGM or Reunion but did send a message to the Membership which I read out to the meeting and is reproduced here.

“Dear Ladies, I regret I cannot attend your AGM but greetings to you all and I hope you have a very happy meeting over the next 3 days. In this special year of the Royal Air Force Centenary I know I shall be at the RAF Parade. Despite retirement of 18 years, I find myself exceedingly busy and in demand by many organisations. Nevertheless, I hope you will be involved in some if not all the celebrations for the Centenary. No doubt there will also be many local celebrations. One of the best things about these Service occasions, it keeps people in touch. My last iteration is to congratulate and thank Margery Harley who has been on the committee for 10 years. Many thanks to Margery for all she has done over all those years and no doubt many years before. To all of you, enjoy this weekend and join in with pride. Cynthia Fowler”

During the AGM a Member asked if some of the future AGMs could take place in locations further north as most seem to take place in the South or Midlands. It was agreed to ask the Membership where their preferred towns or cities for future AGMs and Reunions for 2020 and beyond (2019 is already being planned). Please keep in mind that the town or city would be better for our needs if it has a rail station and a number of hotels.
So, I now ask you this Question:

“Which towns or cities would you like to be considered for future WAAF/WRAF/RAF(W) Association AGMs?”
Please give up to 3 choices and send your choices to me.
By email to: waafasecretaryATgmail.com (change AT to @ before sending)
Return your choices to me by 1st October 2018

The Chairman’s Message - from the Summer 2017 Newsletter

Dear Members
We had glorious weather at our AGM/Reunion in Eastbourne this year and enjoyed a trip out to Paradise Park on Saturday afternoon, and a very interesting trip on Sunday afternoon to another nearby farm hotel belonging to the owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar for afternoon tea where we were entertained by his variety of emus and lambs.

It was good to see Padre Alan again who took our Church service on Sunday. The collection raised £100 which will be sent to The Not Forgotten Association who put on such wonderful lunches, dinners and concerts in various parts of the country to which they invite our veterans. We also raised the sum of £256 in our raffle. Thank you for your support.

Thank you to all those who returned their voting slips, the results of which you will find in this year’s report on our AGM/Reunion [below].

My thanks go to the Committee members and the Isle of Wight Tour representative Claris for their hard work in making the weekend such a success.
Iris Shepherd stood down from the Committee this year and our thanks go to her for all the work she has done over the past 10 years.
Susan Turner was elected onto the Committee and has taken over from Iris as Welfare Officer.
I look forward to meeting up again at St Clement Danes in October, and at our AGM/Reunion next year.
Sandie Faloon, Chairman

Report on the AGM Saturday 8th April 2017 by our Secretary: Marion Cope - from the Summer 2017 Newsletter
35 Members attended the 2017 AGM at the Albany Hotel, Eastbourne on Saturday 8th April.

The Chairman, Sandie Faloon, welcomed everyone to the Eastbourne AGM, especially those who were attending the AGM and reunion weekend for their first time. Our Editors Peter and Gill Nightingale were once again able to join us; the Chairman thanked them for all their hard work, that they both put into getting the Newsletter together twice a year, it was appreciated by all the members. The Chairman also thanked the Committee for their hard work during the past year.

Our Welfare Officer, Iris Shepherd, has now stood down after many years serving on the Committee. The Chairman thanked Iris for her dedication and all the work she has undertaken on the Association’s behalf over the years.

Our Patron Air Commodore Cynthia Fowler was unable to attend this year’s AGM, due to a pending house move and other commitments over the AGM and Reunion weekend. The Air Commodore did ask that her best wishes be passed onto everyone, along with her apologies.

The minutes of the AGM held on 16th April 2016 at Stafford were proposed, seconded and adopted as a true record. At last year’s AGM quite a few of our WAAF members made comments about the fast pace of the Cenotaph ceremony parade. Following the AGM the Chairman wrote to The Royal British Legion regarding slowing the pace down, the reply was: “It is felt that reducing the pace of those marching would result in Her Majesty being require to remain standing for longer, which is not an acceptable option if we are committed to maintaining Her Majesty’s full participation”. The Remembrance Parade this year will be Sunday 12th November.

Last year’s AGM discussed the WAAF,WRAF,RAF(W) Association’s Constitution and some changes were agreed. However, it was decided to go to the full membership and ask them to vote regards the distribution of assets and funds, should the Association be wound up. 150 votes were returned to the Secretary. Of these 43 votes were in favour of The Royal Air Forces Benevolent Fund being the sole recipient of the Associations assets and 104 votes for the second option of a shared distribution of assets in the ratio of two thirds to the Royal Air Forces Benevolent Fund and one third to The WRAF Branch of the RAFA. Three voting slips were returned spoiled or left blank. It was agreed by the AGM that in the event of the Association being wound up, then the distribution of assets after all debts have been settled would be shared two thirds to the Royal Air Forces Benevolent Fund and one third to The WRAF Branch of the RAFA and the Constitution be amended to reflect this change.

The Chairman put forward Susan (Su) Turner to be elected onto the Committee as Welfare Officer. Su was asked to tell the meeting about herself, her career in the WRAF and her work since leaving the WRAF. Su has a background in Welfare and the members proposed, seconded and voted for her to join the Committee and become our new Welfare Officer.

Along with the vote slips for the disbursement of funds, the membership was also asked if they would allow the 2018 AGM to take place in July 2018 instead of April, in order to attend the RAF 100 celebrations or to keep the 2018 AGM in April as prescribed by the Constitution. 148 people returned their slips and of these 83 were in favour of a one-off change to July for the AGM in 2018. However, by the start of the 2017 AGM weekend the MOD had not given enough detail of the events for RAF 100 or our ticket allocation to enable firm arrangements for our 2018 AGM with the RAF 100 celebrations to be made.

The Chairman and Committee therefore recommended to the meeting that the 2018 AGM be held in April as usual and when the RAF 100 arrangements are known then the members will be informed. Those present agreed to the AGM remaining in April and it was then decided that next year's AGM and Reunion will be held in Grantham on the long weekend of 6th to 9th April.

The Treasurer reported that the Associations funds remain healthy and the membership remains stable with just under 700. The accounts were proposed, seconded and accepted. It was also agreed to use the same Auditors as for the next audit.
Marian Cope Secretary

Treasurer: Lynn Hamill
Hello Ladies. Here we are again after a wonderful AGM/Reunion. As usual lovely to see all those who were able to join us; this year we were visited by the Air Cadets - the next generation of the Women of the RAF.

I will just mention that I am chasing up on outstanding subs -those that are 18 months out of date. I will always try and contact you before the magazine is stopped, but we cannot afford to send out the publication without subs being paid.

We have another 100-year old this year, Mrs Martin from Halifax on 17th July so Congratulations from us all!

PLEASE Ladies, if you are in receipt of Pension Credit contact your electric supplier and inform them, they should be able to put £140 into your account from a Government Scheme. This will be on top of your Winter Fuel Allowance. I would also advise you all to check that you are not paying too much tax and if still married claiming married tax allowance. It is always worth checking if you are entitled to any Benefits - DO NOT BE TOO PROUD!

We are still enrolling new members thanks to Tracy’s publicity shots and thank you all who have donated uniforms, we sell them to new members and raise funds for the Association.
Please remember IOW Tours will open an account for you to pay as and when you would like for the Reunions.

Can I also mention those members who were once regarded as Associate Members that they can contact me if they are not on the Ex WRAF Facebook page if they are looking for friends they joined up with/ served with etc. There is also an Ex WRAF Reunion held every October, which I might add any WAAFs would be welcome although I must add it is a much more laid back affair with a lot of sitting on the floor dances, ha ha.

This week I have managed to arrange a meet between a few Ladies in North Norfolk and if anyone out there wants a meet up/visit in their area we will see what we can do as there are Veterans Breakfast Clubs starting up all over the Country.

Welfare: Su Turner
I feel honoured and privileged to have been elected to the committee as Welfare Officer. I really enjoyed meeting and talking to so many of you at the AGM. For those who were not able to attend I will tell you a little about myself.

My name is Susan Turner but most people call me Su. I served in the WRAF from 1973-1976 as a WRAF Physical Training Instructor. I was stationed at RAF Halton, Little Rissington and Wroughton. I married a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and whilst in married quarters at Plympton, Plymouth I successfully completed a course called 'Helping Hands' for the Royal Navy Personnel and Families Service. This course was designed to train people to be able to offer support and guidance to personnel and their families who needed help.

When my husband left the RN we returned to Lincolnshire where both our families lived. When my son joined the Air Training Corps (ATC) I volunteered to work on the squadron as a civilian instructor. Within a short time, I became an officer with the ATC, initially as a squadron officer and later as a squadron commander, Wing Physical Education Officer (PEdO) and finally Deputy Regional PEdO.

I work full time in a secondary school as Head of House. This position is a pastoral support role, helping students with their academic progress, attendance at school and any other issues which have an impact on their learning.

If I can be of any assistance at all or if you just feel a bit down, fed up or lonely and just want a chat, please do not hesitate to contact me via Linda Hamill (post or phone) or Marian Cope (by email) - see our Contact page.

The Chairman's Message - from the Summer 2016 Newsletter

I feel it is a privilege to have been voted in as your next Chairman. I will endeavour to continue to work to the best of my ability to meet the Association's needs on your behalf.

Happily Margery is still with us as Vice-Chairman and I would like to extend, on all our behalf, our thanks for all the work she has done in her role as Chairman. Thank you Margery.

Looking forward to seeing you at St Clement Danes and at our AGM/Reunion next year.

Sandie Faloon

Report on AGM 16th April 2016

28 Members attended the AGM at The Tillington Hall Hotel, Stafford.

The minutes of the AGM held on 25th April 2015 were proposed, seconded and adopted as a true record. There were no matters arising.

Our Patron, Cynthia Fowler was invited to our Reunion but due to a hip operation was unable to attend. A letter from her wishing members a happy reunion was read out. Our editors, Peter and Gill, were able to attend and share the weekend with us.

Our Chairman thanked members of the Committee for their help with dealing with the Association’s correspondence during the vacancy for a secretary.
£80 was collected at the 2015 church service and was donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund. A letter of thanks from them was read out at the meeting.

The Vice-Chairman reported that little progress had been made with getting a brick edging surround to the memorial to help keep the chippings in place. The delay is due to the Arboretum being short of a full time curator and being overwhelmed with requests.

A letter was received from The Royal British Legion to all organisations taking part in the Armistice Parade in London asking for support in recalibrating the standard of dress and observing solemnity of the occasion. The date of the next Armistice Parade is 13th November 2016.

The Treasurer reported that Association funds were healthy and that membership remains at just under 700. The accounts were proposed, seconded and accepted. It was agreed to use the same Auditors for the next audit.

The new bench is in place at the Arboretum.

Member for Publicity reported that advertisements had been placed in Station magazines in addition to those in Air Mail and RAF News, etc., thus giving the Association good national coverage.

It was suggested and discussed at the AGM that some changes are made to the wording of the Constitution to include the name of the 3 generations of the Association and adding more options to the uniform. This was agreed.

A suggestion was also put to the AGM that we might consider, should the Association fold, that monies left could be shared between the RAF Benevolent Fund, as is now, and the WRAF Branch of RAFA. However, the Committee afterwards, on reflection, felt that this should be investigated and discussed further before we put the vote to ALL members of the Association and before any changes are made.
Marian Cope was voted onto the Committee and will undertake the duties of Secretary.

It was also proposed that the incumbents of Chairman and Vice-Chairman change roles: Sandie Faloon to become Chairman, and Margery Harley to become Vice-Chairman. This was agreed unanimously.

The date of the next AGM/Reunion will be Friday 7th April 2017 to Monday 10th April 2017.

Sandie Faloon, Chairman

Chairman's Report on AGM/Reunion, Coventry, 2015

The Chairman's Message

Dear Members
Our Reunion was short of members this year, but the same spirit prevailed.
I must thank the Committee for their support, especially when I was unable to read you my own report (asthma can be a nuisance).
The trip to Cosford was very much enjoyed. Padre Alan took our service on Sunday and coaxed our singing as only he can. Our collection raised £80 which he asked to be sent to the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The weather was fine for our visit to the Arboretum and all enjoyed the Sing Song Sunday evening, always a great favourite. We did have to enlist help from the Isle of Wight Tours assistant Gill who together with our Committee coped with two falls, but I am glad to say they both left for home on Monday and are making a good recovery.
I hope to see you at St Clement Danes on the 11th October.
With Best Wishes for a good summer and good health.
Yours in WAAF friendship
Margery Harley

From the Vice Chairman, Sandie Faloon

The Not Forgotten Association:  Members who are interested in accepting an invitation from The Not Forgotten Association should please write to me Sandie Faloon with their name, address and telephone number so that I can contact you quickly when anything comes up in your area.
Please take note of my contact details: 12 Alderbury Road West, Slough, Bucks SL3 8DH: sandiefaloonATyahoo.co.uk (replace AT with @ before sending!).
Our thanks go to Vera for the work she has done in the past on our behalf.
Sandie Faloon

Report of the AGM 25th April 2015.

37 members attended the AGM at the Royal Court Hotel, Coventry. The meeting opened at 9.30 am with the Dedication and Tribute to Joan Menniss, our Secretary, who suddenly and unexpectedly died on 7th December 2014.  Her funeral was on the 19th December 2014 at Surrey and Sussex Crematorium.. The Committee is still coming to terms with our loss.

Minutes of the AGM held on 26th April 2014 were proposed, seconded and adopted as a true record. There were no matters arising and no apologies for absence. The Chairman reported the resignation of Maria de Bie due to her husband’s illness, therefore the Committee co-opted Pamela Rackliff as Committee Minute Secretary, to be approved at this meeting.

Our Patron Cynthia Fowler was invited to our Reunion, but after offering her condolences on the death of Joan Menniss, explained that her many commitments and duties prevented her from accepting, but hoped to see some of us at St Clement Danes in October. We also invited our Editors Peter and Gill Nightingale, but they were also unable to attend.

Our late Secretary did write to Boris Johnson regarding the monument to “Women of WW2”, but only received a list of departments. Copies of correspondence have come to light which convince the Committee that it is a lost cause. Since the death of Joy Bone, the Royal Society of St George is looking for a new campaigner. Mavis Bell was keen to involve her local MP, but when put to the vote, only 3 members supported her. Therefore, we, as an Association are not planning to pursue it.

The Vice Chairman reported that although there were 20 members parading on Remembrance Day at Whitehall, they were not seen on TV as the BBC state that they have no control over the cameramen.

The Treasurer’s Statement of Accounts was adopted and Butler & Co were also appointed as Auditors.
The Committee proposed replacing the seat at the National Arboretum and this was approved by all present.

The Vice-Chairman, having completed her term of office wished to stand down and Sandie Faloon has agreed to take over this office.
Minute Secretary Pamela Rackliff has already been co-opted.
Treasurer Linda Hamill agreed to stand for another term.
All three proposals were approved by members.

Tracy Watson, a serving RAF(W) was proposed, seconded and voted in to be a committee member. We are still in need of a General Secretary to complete our Committee.

The venue for the 2016 AGM and Reunion on Friday 15th -Monday 18th April will be the Stafford Tillington Hotel costing £204. Please apply to Isle of Wight Tours Ltd., 3 New Road, Lake, Sandown, Isle of Wight, P036 9JN.
Margery Harley Chairman

“Out and About” by Sue Stone (or an alternative report of the AGM and Reunion!)

On the 24th April Joyce Smith and I set out for Coventry. We were going to attend the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force Association 2015 annual reunion and AGM.
We took another lady, Yvonne, who travelled up from Catford to join us for the remainder of the journey. Yvonne is a member of long standing who though being poorly sighted and well in her 90s is a very eloquent and interesting lady who enjoys the camaraderie of other ladies who served our country in the WW II and was a lovely introduction to this organisation that I found to be a credit to our “Service family”.
They could not be more welcoming and supportive of new members and each other. What a wealth of wonderful stories these ladies have to tell - quite as interesting as their male counterparts. They possess an indomitable spirit it seems to me that gives them a bond and dignity with the ability to enjoy despite the tolls age has taken on them as a large proportion of them are over 85 years young.
There is a small number of younger WRAF (well, my age) and serving members and we are very much in awe of these strong women who have lived through so much and retain so much knowledge of their important work during those extraordinary times.
As well Association “business” we had a trip to RAF Cosford on the Saturday followed a well arranged Gala Dinner and entertained with music to enjoy a dance to.
On Sunday there was a Remembrance church service then later we set out on the coach for the National Arboretum. We had a singsong, come musical quiz after dinner.
Joyce and I had enjoyed swapping stories with the other ladies and felt very in awe of these ladies who had experienced so much.

Any ex WAAF or WRAF member out there I urge you to look them up because when you met these ladies the “bond” is immediately there. Even if you can’t travel to the annual reunion for £10 you get a bi-annual Newsletter full of interesting articles and who knows you may see mention of someone you served with. They are a lovely bunch of ladies whose organisation needs more members to swell their ranks. Lovely weekend!!!

In memory of Joan Menniss, our late Secretary. Joan died on 7th December 2014.

Joan was born in Bermondsey, London. She went to Alexis Street Primary School and Bermondsey Central Secondary School in Monnow Road. When the Second World War began she was evacuated to Brighton for approximately six months from 1939-1940. When she was seventeen and a half years old she volunteered and joined the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) and trained at Wilmslow and Cranwell and passed out as Leading Aircraft Woman. She was stationed at various places including Old Sarum near Salisbury and Bentley Priory. She also worked for the Enigma code breakers at Bletchley Park for one period and remembered Colossus, the first ever computer that Alan Turing invented, being in the entrance to the main building.

She reached the rank of Sergeant in the Air Force, was a teleprinter operator and represented the WAAF in the first ever teleprinter hook up between the UK and Canada. She served from 1944 to 1947. During this period she also became Mayoress of Bermondsey when her father the Mayor died and her mother became Mayor.

In 1947 she worked at Bermondsey Borough Council. She was living in Bermondsey when she got married and joined NHS at St. Olaves hospital as a medical secretary from 1948 to 1950.
After bringing up her children she returned to work at St. Olaves from 1964 - 1971. From 1971 to 1975 she worked at Redhill General and Crawley hospitals, as a personal secretary/assistant for East Surrey Community Health Council in Reigate from 1975 to 1978 and as secretary/administration assistant at south-east Thames Regional Health Authority in Croydon from 1978 to 1980.

In her later years she was very proud to be appointed the Secretary of the WAAF Association and worked hard to develop their activities along with her colleagues.
Paul Menniss (Son)

Presentation to Betty Turner by Margery Harley

On behalf of our committee and all members of the Association I had much pleasure in presenting a handcrafted cushion to Betty. Betty has always been a staunch member of our Association and for years has personally designed each and every one of our Christmas cards. This particular cushion shows a picture of her recent Christmas card - members may remember it! To Betty our sincere thanks for your handicraft efforts on our behalf - much appreciated.
Best wishes in WAAF Friendship,
Margery Harley

Secretary’s Report on AGM/Reunion, Cambridge, 2014

50 WAAFs, WRAFs and one serving RAF(F) together with 10-11 Carers attended the above reunion/AGM at The Menzies Hotel, Cambridge, from 25th to 28th April 2014. Many members had a long, tiring journey to get there but they arrived safely looking forward to a happy weekend together. The I.O.W Tours representative, Caroline did an excellent job of organising the weekend for us and we all had a wonderful weekend enjoying one another’s company once again. A quintet of the RAF band from Cranwell came along and played some nice jazzy music for us during our gala dinner and the restaurant was dressed up with colourful balloons & RAF flags carried out by Caroline. Wine was given by the Committee out of funds and toasts were given to The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force on the 75th anniversary of its formation and also, a toast was given to the 100 years anniversary of WWI.

During our stay a visit was made by us all to The American Cemetery (the only one in this country) to commemorate all our American friends who were killed carrying out raids over Germany just like our own RAF aircrew. We all look forward to next year when we hope we will all be able to meet up again, perhaps with more members - fingers crossed.

Brief summary on AGM 2014

Our Patron, Cynthia Fowler & Peter and Gill Nightingale, our Editors were all invited to our Reunion but, unfortunately, were unable to attend, due to previous engagements.

The Chairman announced that letters of congratulation had been sent to two women members of the RAF on their promotion to Air Vice-Marshall. This is what we hoped would happen someday when we blazed the trail back in the forties.

The Vice-Chairman in her report reminded everybody about Remembrance Day this year and asked anyone interested in attending & marching to apply for tickets from her. Any member who can attend will help to boost our usual marcher - Connie - & 2/3 wheelchair members. Perhaps our new WRAF members could help out here!

Many thanks to all members who sent Xmas cards to the Secretary with thanks for our hard work during the past years, also the letters & phone calls to give approval for the new badge. There were only 4 objections. One or two of us also felt the word ‘national’ should be removed and this was agreed.

Next year there will be a few committee vacancies as some of our terms of office will be coming to an end so if anyone would like to stand for the committee - please let us know, ASAP. Many thanks.

The Treasurer gave a good report stating that finances were in good order and many people had very generously sent in donations throughout the year. She had also been very active in gaining 20 new WRAF/RAF- serving members.

Sandie Faloon has now taken over from Iris Sheppard looking after publicity and is continuing to advertise in Air Mail & RAF News in order to gain more members and to spread the word about our Association.

Dorothy Woodford, our Welfare Officer for many years unfortunately has Alzheimer’s disease and is now in a care home. The Committee thank her for all her hard work in helping out our WAAFs for so many years with any problems they may have had. If anyone wishes to visit her, please ring the secretary for her new address. Good luck Dorothy. Iris Sheppard has volunteered to take over her work.

The work of putting chippings at the base of the WAAF Memorial has now been completed and the bill of £750 plus £150 VAT = £900 has now been paid from a legacy left to the WAAF Association. We are still awaiting a plaque for the memorial.

Change to Constitution - Members agreed that, when a member had sent in her application which had been proposed and seconded and then was taken ill with flu, or something like that, and was unable to be present at the AGM her application could still stand and she could be elected as a member of the committee in her absence.

Women’s War Memorial - Whitehall - The Ssecretary followed up a complaint by a member last year that the WAAF had still not got their own memorial in London. A letter had been sent about this to The Prime Minister and the Secretary’s M.P, who had not been very interested in the cause. We may have to fund our own memorial because apparently memorials are never funded by governments. We will write to Boris Johnson who may be able to give us a site in Whitehall and see what happens!!

Stained glass window at Bentley Priory - this window shows a made-up badge coloured green and with the initials WAAF on it. There never was a badge like this on our wartime uniforms and we are taking this up further with the organisers of this fund. We gave a £100 donation to the fund.

Yearly service St. Clements Danes Church - The date has now been moved to the second week in October every year until further notice in view of the fact that our Patron and other Air Force Officers find travelling there easier as the annual London events are then finished. The date this year, therefore, will be the 12th October 2014 at 11 a.m.

Venue Reunion/AGM 2015 - our venue in Essex which had been arranged collapsed because the hotel stopped trading and the hotel’s new owner would not honour our booking. The time being short to arrange a new venue, it was decided at the AGM last week to be The Royal Court Hotel, Coventry as there was hardly any time to find a new location. We have been there two or three times before but they were able to accommodate us at short notice. The committee hopes everyone will agree with this.

Hotel - The Royal Court Hotel, Coventry from 24th to 27th April 2015, Price - £199. Booking through I.O.W. Tours.

The committee thanked Betty Turner for the many Xmas Cards she had designed over the years and announced they would like to offer her an Honorary Fellowship as a thank you from everyone. Betty was very happy about this and thanked us all for the award.
Joan Menniss

New Badges - these are being sent out

[A suggestion was made at the 2013 AGM that, in order for ex-WRAF and RAF serving members to feel more welcome and at home as members of the Association, a new design of badge could be considered with WAAF given a priority space. All WAAF members would be given one free but they could continue to wear their existing badge if desired. The members agreed unanimously.

The revised new logo (see right) for the Association now that younger members are allowed in definitely does not supersede the WAAF badge which is the Senior badge. It has been suggested all members will receive one anyway.]

These new badges are free and will be sent out over next few weeks to paid-up members. If anyone does not want one please let us know - but the badge does not supersede their WAAF one.

Have a lovely Christmas and I hope I will see more of you in Coventry next year.

Notice to All Members

NOTICE is hereby given that at the last AGM in April this year, 2013 a slight change in the wording of our WAAF Association badge was suggested in order to include our Ex-WRAF and "RAF(female)", of which we have many, was unanimously voted for so it would be more welcoming to these two groups of Ladies and make them feel at home with WAAF members.

If you agree to this, or object to this, would you please write to the Secretary as soon as possible and let her know your views. Remember this badge does not supersede the original.

When voting please just state as follows:
1. I object to the WAAF Association badge being changed
Signed name and Association Number
2. I would like the WAAF Association badge changed to include the Ex-WRAF and RAF(f)
Signed name and Association Number

Amendment to the Constitution

The Committee wish to change the Constitution so that when a Member has stated a wish to serve on the Committee, has been Proposed and Seconded and has been taken ill at the last minute with Flu or sickness she should still be allowed to stand in her absence at the AGM.
At present a member is not allowed to stand and we find ourselves at the AGM with an unfilled place.
If there is any objection by any member please write in and let us know.

Report from the WAAFA AGM 2013

Margery Harley was elected Chairman of the Association, Iris Sheppard was re-elected as Publicity Secretary, Sandie [Falloon] was elected as a Committee member.

Dorothy Woodford, our Welfare Officer is unable to carry out her duties for the moment because of a Family crisis. Any member needing help should contact their nearest RAFA branch and they will help.

The Rustington Branch has sadly now closed.

The Treasurer's report/Annual Accounts were accepted unanimously and agreed to retain the Auditors for the next year.

A lady who had worked as a meteorologist and been attached to a WAAF Unit during the war wishes to join the Association to meet up again with WAAFs. The members voted unanimously for her to join as an Associate Member.

Grey and white chippings giving off a blue light and a slight twinkle when the sun shone on them were chosen to go round the base of our memorial to give a neater finish. This work would be paid for from Association funds.

The Isle of Wight Tours donated two lovely iced cakes and we gave a bottle or two of Bubbly to celebrate our 25th Anniversary of the WAAF Association - so sorry you could not all be there to join in.

Increase in subscriptions: Subscriptions for 2013 remain at £8. The members voted unanimously to increase the annual subscriptions to £10 from 1st January 2014.

The Publicity Secretary has had success recruiting new WAAF and WRAF members by advertising in Air Mail. She will soon be advertising in RAF News as well!

Annual Reunion and AGM 2014 (see below)

Remembrance Day: the WAAF are now down to three wheelchairs and one marcher. The members agreed that Vice Chairman Vera should approach members of the WRAF and ask them to join the parade.

New Badges

A suggestion was made that, in order for ex-WRAF and RAF serving members to feel more welcome and at home as members of the Association, a new design of badge could be considered with WAAF given a priority space.

All WAAF members would be given one free but they could continue to wear their existing badge if desired. More about this in the coming year. The members agreed unanimously.

A suggested new logo (see right) for the Association now that younger members are allowed in will definitely not supersede the WAAF badge which is the Senior badge. It has been suggested all members will receive one anyway.

2012 - Report of AGM Held on Saturday, 21st April, 2012 at The Heathlands Hotel, Bournemouth

The Chairman's Address was received by members.

Due to sudden illness The Chairman, Mrs. Joan Varney-Brooks, was unable to be present at the AGM and the meeting was taken by the Vice-Chairman, Miss Eileen Hollidge who gave the Dedication and paid tributes to Ann Peacock, Secretary and Iris Catlin, Treasurer who had recently died. A two minute silence followed.

Minutes of the AGM 2011 were accepted as a true and correct record and there were no matters arising.

A letter had been received from The Association of The Royal Air Force Officers, Bentley Priory, appealing for funds to purchase a stained glass window to put in Bentley Priory in memory of the WAAFs who served in The Filter Room there during WW2 for the wonderful work they had carried out during that dangerous time. This was put to the members and it was decided to give a donation of £200 to this project.

There was, also, a request fora donation towards the work of a Spitfire Society and it was agreed by the members to give £25.

The Vice Chairman asked for a vote on continuing to give a yearly donation of £100 towards the upkeep of The Plymouth Hoe RAF & Allies Memorial warning that our own Memorial would have to be maintained and that our financial situation was very fragile. The Members voted to discontinue this.

The Acting Treasurer reported on our finances. Since the death of Iris Catlin she had been coping with the post, etc and answering letters and, after receiving the books had been able to prepare a balance sheet etc for the meeting. She then went on to say that somebody by the name of Irene Elizabeth Dulley, who died in 2010, had left The WAAF Association a sum of £17,341.80p in her Will. The Members were highly delighted and gave a murmur of appreciation & thanks and a round of applause. An acknowledgement had been sent with our sincerest thanks.

A new Auditor was appointed - Butler & Co of Arlesford, Hampshire. This was approved by the members.

The members voted unanimously to change a few words in The Constitution so that ex-WRAF and currently serving members could be Full Members instead of Associate Members and be allowed to serve on The Committee in future.

The Vice Chairman requested that The Chairman, Mrs. Joan Varney-Brooks who wished to stand for re-election could still stand for re-election in her absence from illness. One member objected to this and said that the rules should stand that the member must be at the AGM in person. Nobody else spoke and so she was not allowed to stand. The Vice Chairman then stood in her place and was duly elected as Chairman. She then continued to take the meeting.

Vera Morgan, previous committee member then stood as Vice Chairman and was duly elected.

Joan Menniss, Committee member stood as Secretary and was duly elected. Marin de Bie, stood as a committee member and was duly elected. Linda Hamill, a WRAF member, stood as Treasurer and was duly elected.

The members reviewed the Constitution and some amendments were agreed to bring it up to date.

It was suggested by a Member that Jane Carrington should be given an Honorary Membership for her idea of a WAAF Memorial and her help in recommending a designer who would do this for us free of charge. A vote was taken which was unanimous in approval for this to be given to Jane with everybody's thanks.

AGM 2013
Venue - Caernavon (Caernarfon), N.Wales
Hotel - Celtic Royal Hotel
Date - 121 – 15th April 2013
Price - £184 per person
Booking - I.O.W Tours - Phone No. 01983 405116
Single Rooms 60

The Chairman announced she had a few tickets to a garden party at Buckingham Palace if anybody was interested.

The Chairman suggested trying to put the name of our eldest WAAF of 111 years old, who had recently died, in a book of remembrance at St. Clements Dane Church in London and suggested a sum of £100 be put by for this cause. The members unanimously agreed to this.

A member mentioned Stratford-on-Avon as being a good place to hold a reunion. This would be investigated in the future.

The Chairman in the absence of the Welfare Officer read out her report.

New date of WAAF Service at St. Clement Danes Church in London would take place this year on 7th October, 2012 instead of the usual date in the first week of September. This would be at 11am as usual. This change has been made to avoid the events which usually took place causing buses and taxis to be diverted from their usual routes making it difficult for members to get to and from the church.

After a few problems at the beginning and end of The Reunion, everybody had a lovely time and really enjoyed themselves with a trip around the New Forest, and to Poole, and bags of gorgeous strawberries & cream at a little farmhouse in Burghley. We talked and laughed the whole time we were in Bournemouth. The WAAF Association Committee hopes to see as many people as possible at the next reunion.
Joan Menniss - Secretary

2011 - Report of the Annual General Meeting on 2nd April 2011 at Scarborough

The Meeting opened at 10am with the Dedication followed by a short address from the Chairman and apologies for absence.

The Minutes of the 2010 AGM were accepted as a true and correct record and there were no matters arising.

The Chairman reported the completion of the Memorial and thanked Sue McCall for all her hard work without any expenses of any kind. The Chairman went on to suggest an award to Sue of Honorary Membership of the WAAF Association and this was agreed unanimously.

The Secretary's report was read out by the Vice Chairman, Eileen Hollidge the Secretary was unable to attend through illness.

The Treasurer then gave her report saying she had been unable to deal with the finances properly until the end of January 2011 because of the December snow holding up all subscriptions and donations in the post - she had had no post for 3 weeks. She was now up to date and presented her balance sheet which the members unanimously accepted. The members also voted unanimously for the adoption of Mr. R.J.Cladd again as Auditor for 2011/2012.

The Assistant Treasurer reported on The Memorial Fund. The whole Bill for the Memorial had now been paid and £4,000 had been paid back to the committee member who had given us an interest-free loan whilst collecting money for the Memorial. There just remained £300.10 to acquire and then the last f1,000 could be paid back to her. This news was received most enthusiastically by the members who agreed to accept this report unanimously. The Assistant Treasurer thanked all the members on behalf of the Committee for their generosity.

First Poppy Wreath for Memorial - A member from Derby Branch announced that her branch members had visited the Arboretum around Remembrance Day time and laid a wreath on behalf of The Association. She was asked to thank her members for doing this for the Association. It was much appreciated.

The Welfare Officer was unable to attend the AGM but sent her report which The Vice Chairman read out.

2010 - Report of the Annual General Meeting on 8th May 2010 at Coventry

The Meeting opened with a short address from The Chairman. The Dedication then took place and apologies for absence were given.

The Minutes of 2009 were read out and were accepted by the Members as a true and correct record. There were no Matters Arising.

The Secretary gave her report and said she had received one or two invitations for Members to go to Wimbledon for the tennis and a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. These were taken up by one or two Members who were present at the Meeting. As they had to be applied for at short notice she would not be able to contact everybody at this time but she would hope to set up a list with details of Members who were interested and, in future, would be able to contact them quite quickly to give everybody a chance to attend these events.

The Treasurer gave her report. It had been a very difficult task setting up the new financial system but this had turned out very satisfactorily. As no Auditor had been appointed at the previous AGM she had found a new one, a Mr Roger Cladd FCA of Trutax, Milton Keynes. The Members unanimously approved Mr. Cladd as their Auditor for the coming year.

The Welfare Officer then gave her report and this full report can be seen in the magazine.

As so many Members had written and phoned in to The Chairman and Committee saying they would like to see a Memorial to WAAF who died and served in World War 2 and Jane Carrington, one of our Members had also contacted The Chairman with an idea for one, it was decided to go ahead without the Members' consent as Jane had friends - a designer and architect (advising on building materials etc) who would give their services free and design this for us. This was too much of a good chance to pass up and The Chairman & Committee, therefore, authorised the work to go ahead on the Memorial and we were all able to see it half-finished at The Arboretum and it was magnificent. The Members approved this wholeheartedly and were very happy about it.

Prior to seeing The Memorial we all attended a pre-arranged service in the chapel with our own Padre and afterwards had a pavior stone commemorating Dorothy Jones The Founder of The WAAF Association, which had been laid in a walkway, blessed by the Padre. We are all most grateful to Dorothy for starting, and making such a success of The Association and we have all agreed to carry on The Association for as long as we possibly can. We think she would have been most pleased about this. Dorothy's son attended the service at the Committee's invitation and was very grateful that this had taken place.

As everything was getting more expensive, printing of magazines etc., The Committee proposed an increase in subscriptions of £2 per year, making a total of £8 per year payable from the 1st January, 2011. The Committee regretted this but it was approved unanimously by the Members.

Life Membership was awarded to 3 Founder Members of The Association and our Standard Bearer. This was unanimously approved by the Members. There was one vacancy for a Committee Member and Joan Menniss was elected to fill this place as The Minute Secretary.

On Saturday night at the Gala Dinner we also celebrated The 21st Anniversary of The WAAF Association with a piece of iced cake and a glass of bubbly. The Venue & Date of the next AGM/Reunion will take place in Scarborough from 1st - 4th April, 2011 at Red Lea Hotel at a cost of £164 per person, half board, for 3 days with an extra night costing £45 per person. This would include one or two trips out to Camp Eden and Elvington. This would be organised by Isle of Wight Tours, 3, New Road, Lake, Sandown, Isle of Wight, Tel. No: 01983 405116. Please book direct to this Company.

It was a very relaxed and happy weekend with music for singing & dancing provided on 2 nights and a company of 26 professional singers and entertainers delighting us all with Ivor Novello and Frank Sinatra songs and music on our last night. All in all - a very happy and successful AGM/Reunion.
Joan Menniss - Minute Secretary